tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN April 29, 2015 2:00pm-4:00pm EDT
forward -- i'm anxiously looking forward, mr. chairman to the closed session and i know you're going to talk about that in a minute. so that we can get some answers. i hope you all took notes about what the things you said that we have to discuss in closed session and that we will do that. but again, i want to thank you for being here today. and we're going to press forward. mr. chairman, thank you. >> thank you. it's been a good productive hearing but we will go to a closed hearing at another date. we have two other subcommittee hearings. we got backed up with the prime minister. we appreciate your patience. you all have important jobs to do as well so we will work together at another time. i do have a few more questions. the tampa bay times published stories prior to this incident. the guy in the gyrocopter was live feeding a stream. i heard a story from one of the
major networks where they were watching it in new york called down to the capitol and had staff reporters and producers go down on the grass to watch it happen. do you all not monitor social media? is twitter like a new thing for you? i mean this stuff is out there. try google alert. it's there. if its a he no the showing up on the radar, it was showing up on the media's radar and i don't understand why you aren't able to pick up that sort of signal. because if you say that there's never any exposure in advance we got to become more technically savvy. if you can truly have somebody read a story online, get it to the appropriate person in new york, send a producer erproducer, she walks down on the grass and watches it land and you all have billions of dollars -- billions -- and you don't see a dude in a gyrocopter flying over -- we deal with this on the border every single day. if i got customs and border
patrol up here they would tell you about how they're detecting these. they'll tell you how the incursions are working. they've got special things that i can't talk about right here. i've been in them. i've seen them. they're very candid and open. and they're in the same department! that's why we had homeland security! after 9/11 we formed homeland security to communicate! to coordinate! and the only time you all seven can get together is when you get called to the oversight and government reform committee. that's inexcusable. if the major networks can watch it live on television, i expect you to watch it on live television and do something about it. and i still have huge questions about what you would actually do. i want the men and women who are out there on the front lines and had their hands on those triggers to know we got their backs. we don't know if the person has mental capacity. i'm going to assume they do. but you cannot come into the capitol region. you are not going to go in that lincoln memorial. you are not coming into the white house. you are not coming into the
united states capitol unimpeded. we're going to take you down. that's the prevailing attitude. we can get all these sob stories about how nice we want to be. but until we project force, until we let people know, that if you come here you're going to go down? then we'll figure out your disposition? then we're sending all the wrong signals. we're sending all the wrong signals. and so every time we have an incursion and they're not taken down fast and hard, some other nut job is going to get an idea and terrorists are going to get more ideas. figure it out! we pay you a lot of money. billions of dollars. it's been a long time since 9/11. figure it out. the men and women are doing this, god bless them. i cannot thank them enough. they do amazing things. two more questions and i'll be done. i would like after this hearing, to get your comments or your reaction if you're allowed, on the charges that were brought against there. one of the things i hope i can
work with the ranking member and others on this gentleman was charged with a mooisisdemeanor! this is is a misdemeanor offense. the more stringent offense was his flying of a gyrocopter. but an incursion into the airspace, we got to look at that as a congress. finally, i've got to ask you, mr. clancy. is a.c. smith still on the secret service payroll? >> yes, sir. he is a detailee in the homeland department. >> where's he work? what's his title? >> sir i'm not aware of his title but he works for the cbp. >> is he your chief of staff? >> no, sir. >> he doesn't hold the title of chief of staff? >> know'sno i, he a -- i don't know what his title is. is there does he work in the secret service building is it. >> no, sir. >> does he have a secret service vehicle? >> not that i'm aware of, no,
sir. >> you will a he get back to me on that and confirm that? >> yes, sir. >> whose decision was it? yours or secretary johnson's to detail smith rather than transfer him out of the agency? >> it was my decision. >> so why do you keep him in the secret service? you sent out a press release. he said he's accepted a position within the department of homeland security effective tuesday february 10 2015 but he still works for the secret service. >> through detail -- he is on our payroll yes, sir. >> why? >> sir -- >> you told me. you told the ranking member. you told the world. you all sent out a press release saying he was being transferred but he still works for the secret service, doesn't he? >> he gets a secret service paycheck, yes, sir. >> how long is he detailed for? >> it's -- has not been defined, the time limit. >> it's been since february. >> yes, sir. >> ranking member, i yield.
>> just following up on that. so is he actually working -- i mean i know he gets his secret service paycheck but is he actually working for the secret service in this detailed type of position? >> no, sir. i have no contact with mr. smith. >> none. >> none sir. >> and is there a -- we get details up here too. so they have a limited time that they are with us. can you it tell us what the limitations are with wherever he is and can you get that information to us? >> i'll have to get back to you on that, yes, sir. >> thank you, mr. chairman. yield back. >> you have done, mr. clancy, a very good job of building trust and confidence. it's flushed dourns's flushed down the toilet when he read and hear these things. you said to us multiple times the white house did, homeland security did secretary johnson
did, that you were implementing fundamental changes. >> yes, sir. >> and this guy's still on the payroll. you sent out a press release touting that he was going to another department and agency and he does no work for the secret service and yet he's on your payroll. don't ever come back here to congress and tell me that you have a financial problem when you've got a.c. smith on your payroll and you say you don't have enough money. you shouldn't have to pay for that out of your budget. he is a very, very senior person. you personally promised that he would be moved and transferred out of the department. and he hasn't. i'm not buying this "unlimited detail" thing. this is just classic homeland security shuffling around and everyone of your employees knows it. how do you think i know it? i didn't go to work there. your employees know it and you lose their trust and confidence that you are a he actually implementing the change you say you're going to. there was no consequence to all these things we talked about. if he can keep his job, have a
great title, get the same paycheck, no -- you know get a detailee, when waters calm down then we'll sort things out. with that, this committee standed astands adjourned. >> mr. chairman, just a second. i mean the things you just said concern me. i mean -- i i just want mr. clancy to have an opportunity to respond to that. you may not want to. those are strong accusations. i'm just wondering do you have a response? >> sir with be mr. chairman all i can say is that i was looking for are a fresh perspective in our leadership team and we thought this was one opportunity to do that. and i'm very pleased with the team we have in place today. we have not gone back to those individuals who had taken these detailee positions. so i didn't have any oother
comments. >> is it unusual for you to detail people? i mean the secret service people to detail people? >> no, sir. we have detailees certainly up here in congress. we are the beneficiary of detailees as well. >> reclaim my time. >> one more time, i got to tell you, you tried to tell men and women of the secret service. you tried to tell congress. you tried to tell the world that you were making changes. and everybody can look this up. it's public knowledge. but he earned $183,000 that comes out of your budget that could have gone to somebody else hire a new person, promote somebody within the agency do whatever you might. then you're going to come crawling back to congress saying i need more money i need more money. the four assistant directors that you also released or were transferred away, are they also detailees or are they still on the secret service payroll? >> sir, there is one who is a detailee on our payroll, yes. >> where is he detailed to? >> sir, he is also with -- he is
with i.c.e. sir. >> what do they do at i.c.e.? >> i believe he's in a training position. >> will you provide to this committee by week's end the disposition that each of the people that you supposedly -- you're cleaning house, making changes. you were telling the committee that. touting that. tell us exactly with each and every one of them where they are, how long the detail is how much they make, all the relevant details that our staff asks for. can you do that by the end of the week? >> yes, mr. chairman. >> thank you. we now stand adjourned.
this hearing on the security of washington, d.c. airspace after the gyrocopter landing on capitol hill is the subject of our facebook question today. should the government do more to protect d.c. airspace? let us know what you think on our facebook and twitter pages. here's a couple of the responses. brad larson writes -- every one of us needs to pay more attention. randy riddle says it's kind of fun watching these rinky-dink flying machines threaten the
white house and congress. the house armed services committee is going through the fiscal year 2016 defense authorization bill. it sets defense programs and policy for the next year. members are going through the bill line by line and offering amendments. representative max thornbury representatives the committee. this mark-up is expected to last several hours through the late evening. as we heard this mark-up session of the armed services committee expected to last well into the evening. this is a mark-up for the 2016 defense authorization bill. the bill that sets the pentagon programs and policies for the next fiscal year beginning october 1 of this year. they are in recess now. there is a series of votes on the house floor, including the rule vote for the military construction and va spending
>> this morning on "washington journal" we talked about the upcoming report. >> this morning we want to welcome back congressman sean duffy duffy, a republican from wisconsin to talk about the 2016 budget debate. the house would like to kick that off and get a conference deal between the house and the senate on the floor this week. however there seems to be a holdup. let me read politico's headline. "gop budget dodges spikes over entitlement and defense." " "never mind offsetting defense sending increases. if almost instance sources describe a gop budget deal in which political practicality beats out ideology.
>> first off i think it is impressive we're going to get a deal this early if a deal comes. it has been decades since we have this kind of negotiation this early in the process which i think is absolutely fantastic. we initiate a process, look at ideology and politics and see how much we can get done. america understands we have an $18 trillion debt. i think they want us to fix problems we face not just today but in the long run. $240 billion a year just in interest on the debt. that's about half the amount we spend on military spending. so we have to get the budget right. but we also have to understand you can't get everything that you want. politics come into play. you see the struggle between those two happening right now. it can be a little bit messy. politics is. it is the sausage making but in the end i think we'll get a deal
that's going to work for the american people. >> the budget blueprint serves as a vision of the parties. republicans now control both the house and the senate. it is not a binding document. does it concern you then that the vision of the republican party looks like not dealing with the driver of the debt that you were just talking about entitlement. >> in the house we've dealt with the drivers of our debt which is entitlement. you see a lot of ads from paul ryan and the ads that run against him with him dumping a lady off a cliff. we're not afraid to put up big ideas. what happens in this negotiation in the senate i think we have to find out what comes from that negotiation. but again i do think it is important that we continue to address the drivers and you're right, we have both chambers. now again, we have certain problems in the senate. we don't have 60 votes. there's only 54 republicans. we're going to need some democrat buy-in and they have a
say in public process. you don't always get what you want because in the senate you don't control everything without that 60-vote majority. >> republicans were able to increase money for the pentagon. the so-called defense hawks won out putting money in the so-called emergency fund for national security concerns but not offsetting those costs. that's okay with you? >> if you look around the world, there are rising threats whether iran, with isis, china russia. serious problems that we face in the world. america has to have a strong military to address those problems. i would prefer that we do have offsets. but as you know, it becomes very challenging to find a pathway forward of whose program are we going to cut. i think in this negotiation you're seeing people opt for just going for military spending and put it on america's credit
card. inevitably they'll say hey, that's part of the problem that we've seen for decades that puts us at this $18 trillion debt. >> when you come back to the fundamental problem whether with our military or building infrastructure, roads and bridges, those are i think one of the primary roles of our government. but when you include all these entitlements, all of these programs that send money to people across the country, all of a sudden budgets get tight and instead of putting money in to the spaces that we should have in government while military and infrastructure, we start to have these debates about where the money is going to come from because more money is going out in the entitlement system. we have to have a conversation as a country. where are the cuts and reform going to come from? is it smart to get all the reform from our military when we live in a more dangerous world? i don't think that's the answer. py think we should have a strong military especially with all these threats. i think we have to look at the
entitlement system where you are able to help out people that are in need, making sure they get a handout to bridge the gap of the hardship that they find themselves in this life. but we want to make sure we get away from a system that can encourage a lifetime on these programs and encourage people to use them but then get off the program which hopefully saves the federal government a lot of money. that's a larger conversation that we have to figure out. >> jenny in lakewood, washington on the independent line. go ahead. >> caller: good morning. i just like to say that i access omb's financial data excel file. i was looking at the revenue columns -- are you there? can you hear? >> yes, i'm here. >> caller: okay. i was looking at the ref new columns that go from the mid 1970s. corporations used directly 65% to 67% of our revenues annually.
5% of our annual revenues would come from exice taxes. then the remaining about 30% would come from small businesses and individuals.e taxes. then the remaining about 30% would come from small businesses and individuals.se taxes. then the remaining about 30% would come from small businesses and individuals. that's all from omb's historical data. then as we came forward from the mid-70s, it did a flip-flop. now the revenues corporations 5% to 15%. my comment is that if you look at the actual numbers for revenues you say that entitlements, or entitlement-driven. we've done a flip-flop on our income. small businesses and individuals are more than getting their share. we can ashare social security for ourselves. we can afford unemployment for
ourselves. we can afford medicare. we can afford it all because we are now paying the bulk of the revenues are coming -- the bulk of the revenues were coming from individuals and small businesses. >> okay, jenny. i think we got your point. >> so i haven't seen the data that you are talking with, jenny, but i think we have a situation where you're saying why don't we raise tax on businesses. i think we have to recognize we don't just live in and compete with america. we in a global competitive environment and we've all heard about these inversions where american companies look for a suitor overseas to have a better tax rate and move their headquarters to a different company. that's not what we want to happen. we want businesses to stay in america, not leave the country. but grow in america. we have to be competitive on the tax side. we should actually know what corporations are paying. when you have a massive tax code
that's incredibly difficult to navigate over generations of the powerful interests around the country of coming to washington and carve portions of their profits out of a tax code so we don't really know what corporations are paying, i think the code needs to be streamlined, made far simpler so we know what everyone is paying and what income bracket and what corporations are paying as well instead of a complex code that no one can figure out. >> house and senate republicans, democrats, have said they've been left out of the negotiating process over a 2016 budget blueprint but a deal on the table and the house wants to vote on it thursday. does it include anything to deal with what you're talking about, tax reforms across the board or at least corporate tax reforms? >> i'm speculating here. i believe that if it is a new tax reform it will be done in its own separate package as opposed to be put in the budget process. i believe congressman paul ryan from wisconsin is working on
that as we speak. >> brian independent caller. >> caller: yeah. couple questions. i watched a show the other day on tv that says that china builds military equipment 90% cheaper than us. that's one question. another question i got is, last year we let 10 million people in the country on visas and 45 million in the last five years. why are we letting so many people in the country? no wonder nobody's working and wages are not going up. thank you. >> on the immigration question there's attention that if you allow those to come in with undocumentation or documentation and some of them are low-skilled workers you are competing at the bottom end of the wage bracket. that's one of the reasons wages are not coming up. there's such a great supply of low-income workers that's happening from a lot of the immigration that's taken place and that concerns a lot of us. i live in wisconsin and we have
a lot of dairy farms. there's a lot of jobs on the farms but we can't find enough folks to come in and work the farm. oftentimes we find people who have immigrated to the country that are willing to do some of the toughest and dirtiest jobs out there that some americans won't do. and you won't haveto another point, i use the trucking industry. we have a lot of haulers that have trucks with loads and they don't have enough drivers. you can get a cdl, a commercial driver's license in 40 days and make $40,000 to $60,000 a year and they can't find the drivers. we have to look at what's happening in our culture where there's people who want and need jobs but they're not getting connected with people who have the jobs and better paying jobs. i think what the answer to that is i'm not quite sure yet but there's definitely a problem. >> gerald in north carolina, democratic caller you're on the air with the congressman.
>> caller: representative duffy c-span, america, good morning. how are y'all this beautiful day? i've got two questions sir. please allow me to ask them. first of all, i believe our budgetary problem is a republican phenomenon called starve the beast. when bush 43 became president we went into two wars. y'all just cut taxes and we've been in a dive ever since. the second thing is about those riots that were in baltimore. can you all explain the difference between the way the police handled them and the way they handled the bundy rant situation where the white guys actually drew guns on the police and nobody got arrested for them stealing millions of dollars. one last thing -- america you all look out for our military and godspeed with all their endeavors. y'all have a great day. >> gerald, i agree with you on the military. the greatest fighting force the world's ever known. going back to the war reference
to the early 2000s, it was very costly. i think we're still trying to address those issues today. some of the problems that were left for barack obama some of the problems we face today with iran and isis and iraq and afghanistan. but in regard to income, we bring in more money today than we ever in our history. if people are saying there's always tax cuts dropping revenue into our government, that's not the case. we are hitting historic highs of revenue coming into the federal coffers. we don't really have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. the -- we're bringing in more money than ever in our history but we still run historic deficits and debt. that means what's happening on the spending front and we always talk about the drivers of the debt which we talked about
earlier. on the medicare side we have a baby boomers retireing. people live longer a lot of medicine. that's a beautiful thing. health care costs keep going up. all of that is putting a ton of pressure on medicare unless we figure out how to keep the promises to our seniors and figure out we make sure the programs are solvent. >> what role can congress play dealing with the tensions, economic and racial in inner cities across the country. >> first of all, look what happened to freddie gray. the community has every right to be outraged. i was a former prosecutor making sure people are treated fairly and justly. it is important for all law enforcement officer in the country. when they're not we have to have internal reviews to look at what happened and why it's happening. but beside that, you look at the response. instead of peaceful protests to
change the direction of the baltimore police force and clang the culture of the community, you have these violent protests where thugs are coming out burning, looting and raiding. i don't think that's the answer. oftentimes you'll see in congress people want to throw money at problems. makes them feel good to spend more money. here's more dollars, we now want to be done with this problem, we've done our part. well throwing money at problems is not resolving the problem. i look at baltimore and i think just from my perspective -- i'm a wisconsin guy so i'm an outside observer. i think our education are failing these young kids and i think our families are failing. if you're going to have a strong society, a strong community you have to have good education and good families. i think we have to take a deeper look and say throwing more money at a broken school system isn't the answer. let's look at reforming the school system, changing the system to make sure it works. but throwing money at a broken
system is never the answer. it is an easy solution congress can take but it won't fix the problem. in baltimore, what's happening in a community where there's a fundamental breakdown in families. you don't have moms and dads raising kids. we saw continuing on news loops the woman who was out there getting her young son, he was 15 years old. she was swapping him, saying get your butt home. that was one mom and it was her only son. she had six kids. she was raising the six kids by herself. that happens a lot in the country. that is stuff. i have seven kids and i raised them with my wife and that's tough enough. there's great tension there. i think there's great anger there and we have to look at the deeper roots of these problems and it is not going to be an easy solution. we can't mandate strong families in congress. we can set up the support system and we can set up the fundamentals of education. we've seen people dig their heels in and don't want change to the education system, even
when it doesn't work. i think democrats and republicans alike have to address the median problem in the school system. we have to reform it and make it work for these kids. it is not about unions it is about young kids who need an education. >> back to calls. thomas in fresno, california, a republican. you're on the air. >> caller: good morning. hey, mr. sean duffy. >> hey, thomas. >> caller: i've got a question about the budget control act 2011. you know where we tried to -- it was actually inspired by the president. now he doesn't want to follow that no more. but we have to understand something here. when we the people, addressed these recourses that we tried to follow and we are successful, and then we have nothing but the
same actions with murray and ryan digging their hands into this money. then you're trying to outspend a problem that will never go away. >> okay. we talked about this. republicans want to lift the budget caps, the so-called skweft sequestration and have done so in this budget deal that's going to come to the floor this week in the house. >> fond of fresno thomas. listen. we have a great concern on the military front. again you see isis beheading folks. we've seen iran on a pathway to getting a nuclear weapon no matter what the president says. that's a growing military threat in china. you have russia that's in
crimea. it's -- they're advancing their old cold war footing. real concerns we have a weaker america with less resources in the military i think is begging for more global conflict. so there are republicans who have that concern and, yes, those caps in the military side have been broken. in having a stronger american military we'll offset future costs which will be far greater if we have less feasible -- >> caller: good morning. representative duffy, i really respect your ability to be very even-handed and very -- i like that. anyway, sir, i will disagree with you about the drivers of
the budget. i do not believe it is entitlements. our seniors have put in a lifetime of work to fund these programs and they have basically been told, well, sorry, you're not -- now i understand that they will get more than they put in. however, it is an insurance program and you know come on. we knew this from the '30s when it was put in place, and admitted medicare in the '60s. >> let's have the congressman respond to what you said. >> i -- we'll talk about addressing all these small slifrs slivers of the budget pie. you can't fix this problem until you get through the entitlement spending. we're not talking about those seniors in or near retirement. we're talking about the next generation of retirees making some modifications to make the
program stable. again it is a hard conversation. i think you have people in congress that want to tell americans what they want to hear instead of telling the truth. telling people the truth is always a hard political conversation. but if we don't have that conversation in the president's 10-year budget window we see interest on the debt alone approaching $1 trillion. you can build a lot of schools. there's a lot of roads and bridges that you can build with $1 trillion with interest alone that will be paid on this massive debt. the meeting will come to order. are there further amendments to the readiness subcommittee portion of the mark? gentleman from utah, mr. bishop. >> mr. chairman, i have an
amendment. >> will the clerk please pass out the amendment. without objection, the amendment is considered as reads and the gentleman from utah is recognized for five minutes on his amendment. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this is also one of those that's anything to understand. as we go through this process trying to find money for the military, money that's desperately needed there's one
source we're simply wasting our revenue, wasting our time and effort. it deals with public lands that have been set aside for military and military use but only for a specific period of time, 20, 25 years. every time period that is up they must go through a renewal, re-look at whether that should be dedicated for military use or not. it's always routine. it just simply happens. what the military is asking is to maintain their property for the use of what they've been doing. however, the mere fact that you go through that becomes an event. which means the military has to spend up to seven years cutting down thousands of forests to try and do a report on whether they should be allowed to maintain what they have been doing all along. it also is expensive for each and everyone of these it will cost between $2 million and sometimes up to $7 million. we flat-out don't need to spend that money. just for the ability of the department of interior to say we
still actually technically coal the land. it is a waste of time. it is a waste of money. and especially as we are searching so franticly for money for our military expense and for readiness, it is stupid to waste it on going through this procedural motion just so somebody can say technically we still own the land. if at any time the military doesn't need the land, they have three years to define that and actually the federal government gets first crack at getting the land back if they want it. so the process is simply a waste of time, a waste of money. in these five areas are ones who have been or will be up for renewal in this process. we are making this a permanent process giving the land over to the department of defense for military control so basically these five areas they can continue to do what they have been doing and will do in the future without having to spend $2 million to $7 million a base simply to go through the process. yield back.
>> further debate on the amendment? gentle lady from massachusetts miss stsongas. >> withdrawing military lands are public lands that have been turned over to the dod to conduct military training testing and are in support of military readiness. our nation's public lands belong to all americans, and they are managed to balance many competing uses -- recreation responsible economic development, sustainable resource extraction yes military purposes and conservation of historic american landscapes, just to name a few. determining how we must strike this multiple use balance is something we discuss at almost every single hearing on the natural resources committee on which i serve. our military installations are not isolated from this broader debate. under the military withdrawal review process the department of
the interior and department of defense work together to determine if a public land withdrawal is still being used for the purpose for which it was established. these reviews are typically conducted every 20 to 25 years, a far cry from a burdensome requirement. comprehensive periodic reviews are vital to promoting the highest quality stewardship and management of our public lands. this process provides regular opportunities for dod and the various branches of our military to evaluate their continued use of the lands and formally coordinate with the department of interior on resource management. regular review also enables congress and the public to provide input and oversight. and we have examples of when this process has helped the dod relinquish property of surplus land that they no longer need. the bureau of land management has been able to make the lands available for other priorities identified by the public through the land use planning process. for example, the dod was able to
return over 111,000 acres of public land from the barry goldwater range in arizona. back to the bureau of land management through the fiscal year 2008. over 83,000 acres of this land are now part of a national monument. we must never forget that our federal lands belong to all americans no matter where they may live. reserving military land reviews protects the right of public to determine how our land is planning planned. i urge congress to reject this amendment and i yield back. >> thank you. gentleman >> let me yield my time to the gentleman from colorado.
>> thank the gentlemen from colorado and utah. >> mr. chairman, if i can reclaim my file for a minute. we're on a different amendment. but when you come to that one, you're spot-on. >> okay. thank you. >> let me thank the gentleman from colorado. this is the bottom line. we've gone through these reviews. nothing ever changes. we keep them the same process. we just spend a hell of a lot of money doing it and we should not do that. yield back. >> i'll try to do this very quickly in the midnight i've had a lot of experience with this specific -- in the mid 90s i've had a lot of experience with this specific issue. we would work with the department of defense and all of its various agencies from the navy to the air force and army and even the marines.
they always had surplus land that they needed to get rid of so the process worked very well. it wasn't very expensive. but it also as our representative from massachusetts was saying very eloquently, it provides an ongoing opportunity for all of us to review the military lands and to put them back into other uses. i think all of us have heard repeatedly, although we've not done it the military wants to dispose of multiple properties all across the nation. sometimes they want to reduce their inventory. this doesn't require any military to dispose of anything. but it does provide an ongoing review every quarter century to take a look at the lands public lands that have been withdrawn and see whether they're still necessary for the military, whether there is a better use for the public. i think that the amendment should be defeated.
>> further discussion on the amendment. if not, the questions on the amendment offered by the gentleman from utah mr. bishop. in favor, aye. opposed, no. the ayes have it. the ayes have it. the gentleman from california request a recorded vote? pursuant to the previous agreement, recorded vote will be postponed. are there further amendments on this portion of the bill? gentleman from south carolina, mr. wilson. >> mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. >> the clerk will please pass out the amendment.
without objection, amendment is considered read. the gentleman is recognized for five on his amendments. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the language of this amendment was included in last year's house version of ndaa and i urge its inclusion in this year's bill as well. the bill is a simple clang that will aid in the preservation of active training grounds and troop ready inness space. u.s. military has a long history of caring and protecting our national treasures as directed under the national historic preservation act. this is a law which is particularly important to me in that i'm a member of a number of historical organizations and historic preservation organizations in my home community and in fact have restored and maintained three different historic homes in our community. so i know how important it is to
have historic preservation. but, unfortunately, there is a small loophole in the existing law that prevents federal landowners from stopping the nomination of federal property for historic -- national historic designation by outside interest groups. the department of interior has no statutory authority to consider national security concerns or military objections when federal property's nominated by third party groups and the military cannot prevent historical designation on its own land for any reason. this small loophole is the critical one because ba it will allow an interest group to use historical designation as a means to affect the ability of our military to safely train on their own land. without action, every base in the country is at risk of losing control over the use of its own land and being subject to unnecessary bureaucratic controls that impede training possibility. . language gives our services a needed tool. it is not a mandate to act if
the historic nomination is agreed. private property owners have the ability to object to third party nominations and our troops deserve no less protection. we should appreciate prt concerns expressed by those who volunteer to protect us through the approval of this language we can give their concerns a voice. thank you, mr. chairman, and i urge adoption of this amendment. >> is there further discussion on the amendment? >> gentle lady from california, miss davis. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i's oppose this measure because we actually have been in contact with the department of defense over it and they just don't think it is necessary to ensure access to the lands that it needs for military testing and training. it doesn't believe that compliance with the national historic preservation act is a problem here. and believes that the historic properties when they're listed
and determined eligible, it works well with the department of defense with its state tribal and federal partners to develop mutually acceptable agreements. overall i think it is just unnecessary. it's one thing to try and step in on this kind of an issue but it hasn't created a problem and i don't think it will. >> gentle lady yields back. gentleman from ohio, mr. turner. >> i know that staff is looking to confirm the language and make sure there hasn't been anything that's added. i do have concerns about the provision. i want to give an example that perhaps you can help me in colloquy fashion to see the limitations and expanse of this. it looks at it just from cursory reading all this says is that the end result would be that the secretary of defense would have
the ability to say that he needs the property for national security purposes? >>y he yes. and object. >> obviously in my district where the wright brothers sites are on base, none of which affect national security, i just want to make sure that sites like that are unaffected. >> in fact they would not be because you would agree to it. there is no question that that would be agreed to. as ft. jackson, i represent, we have historic sites that there i'm really pleased are recognized. even as the columbia army airfield where the doolittle raiders were formed. many examples in our community where this is done by agreement. >> i appreciate that clarification. obviously i'm co-chair of the historic preservation caucus. i was actually one of the authors of the reauthorization
of the national preservation act last time it came up so i appreciate you noting its limitation. pill i'll look forward to see if any additional changes will be made. >> very >> the ranking member of the subcommittee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in opposition to the amendment to amend the national historic preservation act offered by my good friend, mr. wilson. i oppose this amendment because it is unnecessary. the department of defense objects to this amendment and believes it is not necessary to ensuring access to the lands it needs for military testing and training. based on experience, the dod does not believe that compliance with the nhpa including the national register nomination process is in any way threatening dod's ability to fulfill its requirement. when historic properties are listed in or determined eligible for listings in the national
register, dod works with the state state. without impeding mission critical military testing and training. now, i wish to mention this. in particular this committee has provided dod with authorities and tools to mitigate any potential impact by a historic designation. further, dod has flexibility for the collaborative process not work. in testimony last year before the house national resources committee, marine sullivan with osv stated and i quote. if, however unable to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement, the acting powers, the head of the military department to make
the final decision of how to manage the property in a way that doesn't diminish our ability to meet our mission needs, unquote. so, again dod already has a tremendous amount of flexibility in dealing with the nhpa. now, i personally have an important example on guam where there was a historic designation of a certain cultural site. that did not necessarily negatively impact dod mission. the historic designation and the cultural site was below the cliff line where the marines planned to live fire training range. the historic designation to be sure complicated the marines' planning efforts. but it was not something that stopped the process. the marines worked with the local community to develop mitigation plans that would allow for access to the site during designated times. as well as improve the trail to
visit the village. it was a collaborative effort. yet, this amendment, if it was in place during the debate would have undermined the local community's concerns and input into the practice. and i yield back, mr. chairman. >> further discussion on the amendment. gentle lady from massachusetts -- >> i too would like to speak out would like to reference some testimony of the department of defense before that committee on this very issue where the dod testified that the current processes around the national historic preservation act, quote, work well for dod, unquote, and that they both have not found compliance with the national historic preservation act to be an impediment to meet our military obligations unquote. the department also testified that the act, quote, protects the quality of life for our
military men and women and their families and the public. by facilitateing a strong connection to our shared history, culture and traditions, unquote. with that, i'd like to yield back. >> further discussion? if not, the question is on -- the amendment offered by the gentleman by south carolina, mr. wilson. those in favor, say aye. those opposed say no. the ayes have it, the amendment is agreed to. sorry, the gentle lady from california and the gentle lady from guam request a recorded vote. pursuant to the announcement just recorded vote will be postponed. are there other amendments to this section of the bill? >> chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. >> pass out the amendment.
without objection, the amendment is considered as read and the gentle lady from massachusetts is recognized for five minutes on her amendment. >> thank you, mr. chairman. my amendment would strike a writer in the underlying bill. this section prevents the greater stage from being listed as endangered or threatened under the endangered species act for ten years. federal land to the state and raises serious constitutional concerns by prohibiting judicial review. section 2862 would set an unacceptable precedent that
would seed as much as 68 acres of federal land to state control and raises constitutional concerns by limiting judicial review. this provision would fundamentally weaken the endangered species act and put a halt through federally led bipartisan collaborative efforts across ten states intended to avoid listing the greater stage droughts as endangered or threatening under the endangered species act. this would be especially damaging because it comes at a particularly important time. when unprecedented and proactive partnerships between federal agencies such as the bureau of land management and the fish and wildlife service state, sportsman, ranchers and conservationists throughout the west have come together to restore the most imperilled eco systems in north america which is home to species like the greater -- while simultaneously
encouraging economic development. we have proof that the ongoing collaborative approach works. just last week, the secretary of the interior announced that a distinct population of the bird will not need to be listed on the endangered species list thanks to proactive, collaborative investments by federal, state and private partners. they are proof that we can conserve sage brush habitat across the west while we encourage the sustainable economic development unquote. republican governor of nevada brian sandoval stated that, quote, economic development can exist -- coexist in both the bistate area and across the range of the greater. served under president george w. bush agrees. quote, my concern is that a
legislative delay will slow the work being carried out by ranchers farmers, industry, and conservationists leading to further declines in the numbers, unquote. i urge my colleagues to support my amendment and vote to protect the ongoing public/private cooperation that is proving so hopeful and helpful. >> gentle lady yields back. further discussion on the amendment. gentleman from colorado? >> thank you, mr. chairman. well, with the help of various conservation groups and the military's voluntary conservation efforts, states are equipped and capable of managing and improving the population of the greater sage grouts without the far reaching impact that it would bring and that is why i support the initiative to maintain conservation efforts for the greater without such a
designation. with that, commissioner, i yield back. >> thank you. every year the same dance happens. there's a lot of puffing out of chests, display of tail feathers and bobbing of heads. witnessing this display is hard not to wonder what it's all for. this describes the famous dance of the. this is an unfortunate bird that has nothing to do with national security. it will have not affect on the department of defense evacuation. already provides for no net loss in the capability of military installation lands to support missions even when endangered species are present.
this provision in the ndaa makes us look a little silly. maybe as zilly as lyly lyly silly as the dancing sage-grouse. >> thank you, mr. chairman, you've seen a lot of e-mails from special interest groups. it's almost as if they're saying throw something on the wall and see what sticks. it's gooey, but nothing is sticking here. should this be in the ndaa? it should be. will it have an impact? yes. on the wyoming national guard? probably. for the navy? yes. for the air force, yes. for the marines? some places in california, the
bridgeport training center. the answer once again is yes. this will transfer land over to state control. oh, i wish it were so. and if there is some way mr. chairman, you could right it to make that happen, in a heartbeat i would give it. i would accept it. it doesn't even take protection away from the bird. what this says is every state that has a mitigation plan that will be used and it will be used for ten years. this is exactly what the secretary urged when we started this process. but all of a sudden now we find fish and wildlife service and they have blinders on them so they're not really seeing what is and they're not communicating with other elements. it reminds me when nasa decided to stop constellation. took us two years of probing to find the results of what it had on the missile defense system. and it was to increase the
costs. if interior and defense is not talking together, it's probably the results of congress. we need to push them to make sure that does take place. both defense and interior like everything to be on the same page. the official position is they do not object to the amendment in the base bill. and the army has said they do object to the strongest amendment to remove it out of the marked and hopefully base bill. and it's not just listing of the bird. already starting a regional land management plan that would incorporate rules of land management in how it takes place. there's some areas, like my friend from massachusetts doesn't have an inch of vom property in the state. i, unfortunately, 44% of the public land is owned by the vlm. we recognized what would happen if they were to go forward with the listing. it doesn't matter or the rules. it wouldn't matter. it is the same concept and same controls.
and you need a ten-year study to find out if it worked. you saw some of the standards coming out. the population is up 350%. there was a decline. and that's what many of these groups look at. but the year after that, it was 39% increase and then a 20% increase and you want to use this plan for ten years to see, actually how it works it will not destroy the bird, it will not destroy habitat. it will have negative impact on military readiness to the point of closing down ranges and some of the aspects there. this is one of the things where 75 sportsman groups have endorsed this. the state has endorsed it. the stars and stripes endorse this process, and it brings the fact the idea of how difficult it is to deal with these
situations. for example, the biggest threat to this bird is not human activity, it is wildfire on federal land. the second one is species on federal land and the third one is other species. so in my hometown, the biggest predator that hurt the sage-grouse population is another bird that attacks the eggs and that bird it is also on the endangered list. so you have an endangered bird eating an endangered bird. and the way the interior wants to solve that, let's control more land. and now you wonder why i have premature gray hair sitting on the resource committee? the language should say in the bill, this is a military issue. it is a readiness issue. and this is a logical approach that would have been that was the goal of secretary salazar back then. it provides protection, but it does it in a rational way by allowing state plans to go in effect, go to work and my state $60 million on sage-grouse
habitat restoration. states will do it and will do a good job. one of the reports, got 12 seconds to say this, said you should not put this amendment in because only the state government can do it. that's balderdash. let them do their work. save our readiness. >> gentle lady from california ms. davis. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to yield my time. >> thank you. i wanted to address a number of issues that have been brought up. first of all, the whole idea that states do a better job managing our federal lands. there's no denying that states do work hard and have been tremendous partners in the effort to prevent the sage-grouse from being listed. but states do not have the right to unilaterally set policies on public land that belong to and are managed on behalf of all americans.
it is great they have been key partners, and we would like to see a situation where that partnership continues to work hand in hand. the success of the bistate action plan in colorado and nevada shows that ongoing collaboration has a significant chance of avoiding a listing on the enl dangered species act. that's number one. number two, we've heard stories about how the installations are concerned about the financial impacts. but these concerns really are premature. they assume that the greater sage-grouse will be listed. whereas, in fact, as i've mentioned, a wide range of partners are currently working as hard as they can to prevent a species listing. so determining if a species merits listing is a scientific process and we need to let these collaborators continue to do their work. and i also want to address another issue. listing the greater sage-grouse as an endangered species would not impact military readiness
and nor would the activities taking place to protect their habitat. both the department of the interior and the department of defense have been explicitly clear that language in the chairman's mark is not necessary to protect military readiness. according to views quote, dod does not believe that section 2862 is necessary to protect military interest, unquote. the department of the interior similarly states that, quote we do not believe sage-grouse conservation actions on these dod lands represent a major obstacle to ongoing dod operations, unquote. language in section 2862 actually does not make a single reference to military readiness. and so existing authorities in the endangered species act make sure that any possible listing of the sage-grouse would have no impact on military readiness. if the greater sage-grouse were to be listed under the endangered species act, dod
expects the installations would be excluded from the final destination of critical habitat. if for some reason they're not excluded in the final decision, dod could seek an exclus for national security reasons as provided under the endangered species act. the broad language of the provision indicates they are not the primary driver of this attack. if the sponsors wanted to protect dod activities and military readiness, they could have written the language as such. the dod has been a long time partner with the fish and wildlife service on conservation efforts. the department of interior announced -- a nationwide, federal, local and private collaboration to promote sustainability. i yield back. the balance of my time.
>> gentle lady yields back. gentleman from nevada. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as mentioned yesterday, article in roll call written by former inspector general the department of defense former deputy secretary. inspector general of the air force titled national security beholden to endangered species act. they conclude that instead of passively allowing those fish and wildlife service top implement the regulatory regime, congress should pursue all available options to ensure that the conservation of the species does not unduly burden our nation's economy and security. closer to home many people know nevada is over 85% federal land. the big swath of that is the nevada test and training range the foremost restricted air space where the air space conducts the exercises. received an e-mail of the folks in charge.
any limitations placed will adversely affect ntr operations. their main concerns is that proposals have put forward that would create noise zones around the habitats that will adversely affect the military's ability to conduct testing or training in or around the nttr. there is no sage-grouse habitat within the testing range itself, but they would have to overfly areas where there are sage-grouse to get to the nttr. and if there's noise restrictions, they wouldn't be able to overfly that area and get to the test and ptraining range. this has an impact on military readiness, and i urge the defeat of the amendment and the support of the underlying language. >> thank you mr. chairman, the motion to strike offered by my friend. in an opposition to the
extraneous extraneous writer on the sage-grouse. the department of defense has not asked for this provision, does not need this provision. we know dod lands and activities would be minimally affected under the endangered species act. this due in part because there's little overlap between lands and identified quote, unquote priority areas of conservation for the greater sage-grouse. but principally, this is because the endangered species act exempts the department of defense plans or areas owned or controlled by the dod from the endangered species act if the military has cared and approved integrated natural resource management plans. with the greater sage-grouse have been observed have already developed inrm, the dod, as i said, does not need this provision.
did not request this provision and there's no reason for the committee -- with that, i yield back. >> the gentleman from california recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in opposition to the amendment. chairman bishop mentioned a list of the different bases that would be affected by the sage-grouse. and i have one of them. and it is what is called the mountain warfare training center. operated by the marine corps. it's a long ways for me to get up there. it's small in terms of population. but the number one issue there not only talking to the marines, but also civilians and particularly the people of bridgeport is the sage-grouse. they are totally convinced that
the sage-grouse is going to result in the closure of the mountain warfare training center. now, this is a training center that i hate to admit it. i went there many many years ago. it's been around since the end of the korean war when because of the fighting and the northern area of what is now south korea and even lower north korea was today, they needed training and mt. warfare training. the army has certainly done a great job preparing their tenth division for operations in afghanistan. and many marines trained in the training center for those contingencies. everyone is concerned because they are totally convinced that if this came to fruition that base would be forced to close. it's going to have an impact in
a small county not only in california. unfortunately, for the people from nevada. a lot of the folks from right over is very, very close to nevada border. and the marines they won't say it publicly but i've talked to a lot of them they are very, very concerned about this. they will be forced to curtail operations because of the dreaded sage-grouse. you know, we've had similar issues over the years. we've had the desert borders. we had the woodpecker. everybody in the military has learned to, to live with these situations. we have the limited amount of land or changed the policy on endangered species. this is one of those areas where i'm totally convinced that that
one bird will close that base, which is essential, in my opinion, to national security. and if people are not trained in that particular area then heaven forbid if we have another climate, another situation where they are not ready, they're going to pay the price. i yield back. >> gentleman from california. >> the amendment is necessary because the bill is written, is not necessary. in fact, just this last week, there was an agreement, mr. cook if i might for a second. an agreement between nevada and california along -- along the border in the county that would
preclude the listing of the sage-grouse in that county. the military, the counties, farmers, ranchers in the area. and they in tearing out that habitat, there will be no need to list that specific subspecies in that area. spoke to this issue during her presentation of her amendment. and i think everybody has said this already that the military is quite aware of how to develop plans to avoid problems with any endangered or potentially endangered species. this goes back a long way into the early '90s and late '80s this kind of plans were being developed. they were developed, you mentioned the tortoise and california desert. that was developed in a way that allowed the military to take their tanks and various training programs, which are very, very heavy impact on the land and do it in a way that doesn't harm
the endangered species in that case the desert tortoise. it can be done. we don't need this language in the ndaa. we need to cause the military -- just as they did. where you find the training center. they are not going to be impacted because there has been a habitat a plan worked out that would preclude the listing of the subspecies of this grouse. with that, i yield back. >> gentleman from georgia, mr. scott's recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to point out it's a game bird. and it actually has a hunting season with a daily bag limit of two in many states. and if it were anywhere close to being an endangered species, the states wouldn't allow that.
this is a perfect example of the endangered species act and how it's being used to shut down military installations in the economy. and again, i'd like to point out that my colleagues that we actually have a hunting season on greater sage-grouse in any states. and any of you who have hunted would recognize there's no shortage of the areas i've been to. the gentleman from virginia mr. whitman. >> thank you, mr. chairman i'd like to yield to the gentleman from utah, mr. bishop. >> thank you. i thank the gentleman from virginia. let me just say there is a problem potentially in the future. there's a problem currently. $1.5 million a year, a year to manage 250 birds. do the math. 80 of those were shipped in from idaho, too. but because of that there are
seven training areas that are off limits six months of the year. there are 11 gunnery ranges off limits during parts of the day. limited and there's no off road maneuvers on that particular area. and if it was listed it could, indeed, be worse. in mountain home, there are already training sites that have been canceled during mating season. those have to move somewhere else. it is an extreme cost to the military, it's extreme readiness situation. these areas could be exempt if if the department of interior desires to do that. but the military has no say in this process other than what we are attempting to do right now. and they ought to. and i would recommend, again, for the words have been said. it's not just an issue of listing the bird. vlm is already land management rules and no way of objecting to those once they're written to manage the land as if it were listed. so it's not a matter of just the listing, there's another issue, as well, that is deeper involved.
and that is why this provision should stay in the bill. that's why the dod does not object to the provision already in the mark. and that is why the army does object to the amendment to take it out of the chairman's mark. and there's a reason for it. and it's positive. this is about the readiness, this is about a common sense solution. there is a better way of doing it. and, actually, secretary salazar was on the right approach years ago when he started the way of having the states come up with their own mitigation plans so they can save the birds. so with that, i appreciate all the work. i hope we're coming to a close of my committee's work. i'm sure we'll have other things in here for you mr. chairman. with that, i'll yield back with gratitude for yielding me the time. >> mr. chairman, i yield back. >> appreciate that. if there's no further discussion on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from massachusetts, question is on the amendment, those in favor will say, aye. >> aye.
>> those opposed will say, no. >> no. >> the nos have it. and gentle lady from massachusetts requests a recorded vote. and that vote will be postponed. are there further amendments in this section of the bill? chair recognized the distinguished ranking member. if the gentleman wants to offer his amendment. thank you. if the clerk would pass out the amendment amendment, while we get the button.
and i understand this. some of which might potentially be vulnerable. and i'm sure there's a fair number of members who are in that same situation. we have seen a reduction in the size of force. i don't have the statistics off the top of my head. i know the army's gone from 575,000 active duty to around 450, 470 now. so we've seen a significant shrinkage in force we have not seen a shrinkage in the infrastructure. the air force estimates a 20% excess capacity. and most of the other services also feel that way. the department of defense has asked for a brac several years running now and have prohibited them from doing it. again, referencing my earlier conversation, there's a lot of things, as i've talked to mr. forbes about. i think the navy's incredibly important. i think making sure we have enough cruisers and aircraft carriers and submarines, all
very important. but as long as we continue to spend money we shouldn't be spending on excess capacity. it makes it all the more difficult to fund the priorities that we're going to hear about today. we're going to hear about military personnel issues. it makes no sense for this committee to be prohibiting. now, i know the arguments, in 2005, we had one that ended up costing more than they said it would. 2005, first of all was at a time when the military was growing. and that was really more realignment than it was closure. the five previous rounds have all reached the substantial savings over the long-term. we actually have a provision in the bill which i'll compliment the chairman on to the retirement system making some changes to it. in the short-term, costs more money. but in the long-term saves an enormous amount of money. and, you know, i applaud the
chairman, i applaud the folks who put that in there as the type of vision we need to get the defense budget where it needs to be. one of the things we need to do to really do that is to allow the military to do a base closure. we need to do this and i offer the amendment to allow the department of defense to do a base closure process another round. and with that, i yield back. >> if the gentleman -- if the sequential referral issue, i have to -- which is interesting how does the referral issue on the military's bases. but anyway, a complicated place. i will withdraw the amendment, but i will, again, offer it on the floor and we'll have the discussion on the floor, because i do strongly believe we need to allow the military to downsize. i withdraw the amendment. >> the amendment is withdrawn. i move to strike a number of words and would yield myself briefly on this topic.
first, the ranking member has been consistent in pushing for a number of years. and i think he makes a lot of valid points. the only reason i take a moment is just to bring attention to a point that chairman whitman brought in his, made in his opening comments and that is there is a section in the mark section 2814 which says we need to have a fore structure plan we need to have an inventory of the infrastructure, and we need a plan to put the two together. so that we have a better understanding of what installations and infrastructure we need. now, we have heard for years this 20% excess infrastructure argument that is based on an estimate from before the 2005, which as the ranking member mentioned, has not yet paid for itself. it may be an anomaly.
but my point is before we go down the road i'd like to have a better understanding of really where we are with our infrastructure. i'm saying we need a better estimate on how much if any excess we have and where it is. and so that's what's in chairman whitman's mark. it's not a brac, but it is -- tries to get better data upon which we can make a future decision. so i've -- i understand the ranking member's position, but i just want members to know that we are trying to be responsible in this area as well as in the other areas of reform that are in other provisions of the bill. and if there's some other comment somebody wants to make on this. gentleman from texas briefly before we go vote. >> thank you mr. chairman, i'd
like to briefly thank the ranking member for continuing to raise this issue on the army side. we've been told that we are 18% over capacity, and if we could address that reasonably soon, we have savings of hundreds of millions of dollars a year. and so i think as we make these tough decisions about what we're going to spend limited resources on, it's imperative that we continue to work towards it. and i appreciate your comments about a process and procedure to do that. and with that, i yield back. >> chairman whitman? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to add to this. we had a hearing in the readiness subcommittee specifically about the savings. asking secretary about what savings dod expected with the assumptions in what they call their analysis. and they said clearly there would be zero savings within the five year defense plan. so we want to make sure it's clear about where the savings might occur. it's going to be where you can't devote those savings at this particular time. let's have an analysis about
what our fore structure is where the overcapitalization is so we can all look at that and i think that's the language that's in the bill for us to be able to take that step. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> i appreciate it. okay. we're going to take a brief recess for members to go vote. and when we come back, we'll go right into the amendment offered by mr. rogers. the committee stands in recess.
>> the house services committee taking a short break now. so that members of the committee can go to the house floor for a vote. that was the unexpected, but these things do happen. so a recess now in the armed services committee. our live coverage will continue shortly when members return here on c-span 3. until then, a portion of today's "washington journal." >> a democrat of maryland. talking about weinstein who was killed by the drone strike. he was a constituent of yours. >> yeah, he was.
>> being held hostage by al qaeda. when and how did you learn about his death? >> well, we learned about it the day before it was announced from the white house. so i learned about the same time. >> what was your reaction to it? >> i was just heartbroken. because i'd never met warren, which i feel bad about. but i'd gotten to know the family incredibly well. a whole bunch of strategies to try to get warren back. and so it was a terrible ending to what has been a really difficult. >> what was that effort like? explain u.s. hostage procedure. >> yes, i'll start by saying i think the men and women that work in the various parts of government principally the fbi, primary responsibility for dealing with hostages no matter what the circumstances around them being taken are. and then the state department
and the other government the men and women work on the case terrific. they work really hard. but in truth we don't do a great job as a nation in terms of coordinating all the resources we have to bring these people back. we don't develop the kind of customized strategy that are needed. because every one of these situations is highly unique. and, in fact a lot of change with respect to hostages. a lot that we apply is dated back to the time when most of the hostages were related to drug cartels. now we have these nonstate actors, taking american hostages. they don't want the money. they use it as propaganda. and they're operating in countries that don't control their borders. so it's a very different set of facts we're dealing with. we have to change our headsets. and i think we need a much more kind of customized approach where we develop specialized capabilities just to deal with hostages that can take advantage of all of these assets the united states has.
intelligence assets technological assets, all the wonderful assets in our military. but also important to leverage the relationships we have in a region and a region with other countries. to help get information, to help get our americans back. so i think we need a whole new comprehensive strategy, which is what we've called for. we kind of call a hostage czar. people understand what that is. but it's a person who wakes up every day and has a white board with all of the name of the hostages, how they're advancing each day. but it also involves new capabilities. >> walk through your efforts, though specifically when it came to warren, explain what that was like. what did you do? what did this administration do? >> well so, what we did is we obviously work very closely with the family. they were calling a lot of the shots here. we never wanted to get ahead of the family in terms of what they wanted us to do. we focus on two things, making sure that all the assets of the government were being utilized. for example, we sought to do more to help in the efforts to
get warren back. we did specific things through the congress to push the government of pakistan and cooperate more fully with the fbi. and that's something in my own opinion if we would've had better cooperation earlier in the warren situation, there's a chance we might have had a different outcome. it was an example that really surprised me that we provide pakistan with billions of dollars of aid. and so when i heard that and i heard we weren't getting the kind of information back we wanted from the government about the situation, i was like, this is ridiculous. we ought to be getting this information. we're not asking to change the foreign policy, but we are asking them to cooperate with the fbi as it relates to american held hostage. that was one example. the other example of where we got involved. we started effort to get that conversation going again. again, not changing u.s. policy,
u.s. policy, and i fully support that. but that doesn't mean we don't have partners with other relationships in the region and can actually get these people back without violating u.s. policy. i was surprised we weren't doing more as a country. >> are you saying kwa tar qatar can pay? >> no they know what's going on the ground better than we do. they have people they work with who may be able to negotiate like they did for curtis. he was a terrific example where actually a private citizen, a gentleman named david bradley has taken hostage release as a kind of a private mission. and the washington post did a great story on this where they talked about the private citizen played an important role in getting the government of qata without paying rand sm.
>> what was the communication like between the al qaeda operatives who were holding mr. weinstein hostage? and the family and the government? >> there were a few public communications, as you know about. but in terms of other communications i generally am very respectful to family and don't want to talk about any specific communications they might have. >> what efforts can families, like warren and other families who have family members being held hostage. what effort can they make on their own? where does the government limit them? in what they can do to try to free you know their loved ones. >> the policy now, the u.s. government policy, we don't pay for hostages. we also have a policy that private citizens cannot pay to have their, you know, pay for hostages, family members or loved ones. there's been talk about that being reviewed. and that's, i think, an interesting conversation to have. because the policy we don't pay for hostages, i totally support.
it will encourage more americans to be taken hostage. whether that should apply to families, or not, i think that does merit a conversation about whether there is evidence to support that would actually change the number of americans that are actually taken hostage. so that opens for debate. but i think, again unfortunately, if we did a better job, and again, i don't want to criticize the individuals. the men and women who work in the state department and fbi, et cetera, they care about these people and work hard. but if we did what i want to do which is have a whole new effort. and what we're proposing is that you create a committee of the national security council that has the principles of the most important parts of government. state department fbi, intelligence, military, the attorney general. they're all on this committee. and the committee is chaired with a full-time person whose sole responsibility is to develop strategies and get hostages. find out where they are and work to get them back and communicate with the families. and they'd have -- they'd be able to speak for the capabilities of all the members that are on that committee.
so it would be a totally new approach and i think a much more effective approach for getting hostages. >> how big of a problem is this that we would need in your opinion a hostage czar? >> i think it's a huge problem. the fact that american -- >> how many hostages are being held? >> no one knows exactly. and there's wasn't public for a long time. >> they thought it might be counterproductive. but then when al qaeda sent all the videos to the media, they went public. you know, how many of those are kind of the old-fashioned drug cartel taking people to the border as opposed to the middle east. and again i'm not talking about building a whole new department. i'm talking about taking the resources we already have within the government and creating a way for them to be coordinated
more effectively. i come from the private sector. we don't need -- there's only several dozen hostages at one time. we don't need to build a whole new bureaucracy. what we need to do is build a capability that can develop hostage-specific strategies. and they'll all be different and customized based on the facts on the ground and have the ability to cut across all of the access of government, grab what's needed and execute. >> let's get our viewers' opinion on this. we'll go to joy in california. democratic caller. hi, joy. >> caller: good morning. i -- when okay i'm down here in the garage and i'm not giving the -- i can hear you guys talk. but when i first saw the headline of terrorism, i thought of gitmo.
and i am curious of why that situation is still going on. and then my second part of my comment is that with terrorism, you know, i read a lot about isis and what's going on with that. and i just think that the media over overemphasizes the threat that is to the united states. now, i -- >> joanne i'm going have the congressman jump in and take it on. >> thanks for the questions, joy. as it relates to guantanamo bay, i agree with you, it's not clear what role that's really playing anymore from a strategic perspective. and i think the president's effort was to close that facility are heading us in the right direction. as it relates to isis, i think i have a different take on it. joy, i do view it as a very very significant threat to the
united states. and in this area i actually just take them at their word. if you listen to the word that the isis leaders are saying they want to find americans wherever they are, including here possible, and they want to kill them. and that's what they're doing with the hostages overseas. so i think this is a very, very serious threat that we have to deal with. we can see, it's an immoral awful act. and i think it's a serious threat. they've said they want to do more of it wherever they can identify americans for other people who don't believe in their particular cause and approach to the world. >> yes, i was wondering, what's
the difference between the jewish state being established for israel as they were curious at the time. actually, curious. and what are your thoughts on those policies being implemented in this context this world order right now? >> yeah, i don't agree with the fundamental premise. so i think we disagree. it's hard for me to make any comment. >> we'll move on. matthew in massachusetts. independence. >> caller: yes, good morning. >> good morning, matthew. >> caller: yeah, i wanted to make a few points. first is the funds that these terrorists receive will be used to kill more people including our soldiers. that's where it's going.
this change in the policy, there's going to be one after another of individuals that will be turning themselves over. they're already leaving to go over to join these terrorist groups. so now they'll just make a video in the basement. i've been kidnapped. so i need money. you know. and that money that these families will be able to provide provide they'll just increase tenfold. they'll just keep increases. >> okay. >> and they'll do anything. >> sure. so just to be clear, there's no proposed change in the u.s. policy as it relates to paying for terrorism. no one has proposed the united states change that policy. i certainly don't believe we should. no one in the government has proposed that. even no one at capitol hill has proposed that. the argument, which you've made one part of the argument, but the other part of the argument is people think if we pay for
hostages, they'll take more of them. in addition to the money being used for purposes that are obviously terrible and immoral et cetera, there's no proposed change in u.s. policy. what there has been talk about is right now american families who family members have been taken hostage to the extent they talk about using their own funds to make ransom payments, they have been threatened by our government that will be prosecuted if they do that. there has been talk about maybe looking at that policy. right. so that's a very different policy. it's not the government's policy. and there are implications to that. i think the extent we were to make any changes to that policy, we would want to be very comfortable changes would not change. the rate of americans taken hostage. i think it's a good discussion because we have seen situations like the foley family, which was according to them threatened by our government when they were trying to do things to get their son brought back. but it just underscores the
points in my mind, which is if we had a more centralized capability to deal with finding american hostages. and that's the key part. we're talking about the negotiation. we're talking about what we do with the terrorists. i think there's been a huge gap. warren weinstein, my constituent held hostage and recently killed, he was over there for over three years. and we couldn't find him. which, to me, is a real failure of the country. when you consider the capabilities we have as a nation. the technological capabilities and our ability to put pressure on the partners in the region to help us find these hostages. the fact that an american can go three years and not be found in the middle east i think is a breakdown of our capabilities. and that's the area i want to focus on. we have a lot more options. but at a minimum, we won't bomb places we know they are. >> and you wrote after the death of mr. weinstein was made public, you were saddened disappointed and outraged our
government was not able to bring warren home. where was the failure? intelligence? are you saying our intelligence did not know where he was at all during the three years? >> and we had a sense that he was in along the pakistan border. that's because that's our sense where all these people are taken. difficult terrain, don't have a lot of capability there. i think where the breakdown was on the intelligence side. it's not does our intelligence agency have great capabilities and are they listening? of course they are. but it's also working with pakistan to see what they know. do they have assets? do they have people who have information? and are they letting us talk to them? are we partnering and collaborating with other partners in the region? i do think it was a breakdown that the united states of america with all of our capabilities, which are, which relative to the rest of the world are staggering. we cannot find americans that
are being taken hostage in a very limited part of the world. >> all right. we'll go to lancaster, texas. watching there on the line for republicans. you are on the air, sir. >> yes, it seems that we have a attack more so on christianity in the country. >> the area -- no one was speaking about the overtake of the islamic community. and primarily northern states economic support and they're basically reaching out. and no one's speaking out to bring about that, hey we are our home front is under attack. we're focusing more on the smoke and mirrors about a bunch of
kripps and blood who really have had no injunction in the country. >> okay, caller. >> i think it's really important when we speak about people we're practicing the faith of islam. the overwhelming, overwhelming majority of people were practicing that faith live up to the states which is the kind of things you find in other faiths. so we have to be very careful when we talk about even, you know, people who are obviously practicing that repligion in our own country. in baltimore, it was a different situation. the people reacting to baltimore. and remember, we had a lot of peaceful protests after the situation with mr. gray's death. but what they were reacting to was what appears to be happening all over this country, which is uneven application of our laws. the poor inner city black
communities. and they, you know, they want answers. they want answers as to why someone like freddie gray died the way he did because it's somewhat inexplicable to us that he would die based on what's been said. and that community wants answers, a family wants answers we're heartbroken for them. and most of the protests were very peaceful and really raising this question in an appropriate way. and then criminals got involved and situation got out of hand. and that was terrible. i think the core situation in baltimore is not what you're focused on. the core situation in baltimore is what we saw in other parts of this country which is are these poor black communities have been underinvested in and in many ways, are the product of a failed and broken criminal justice system in this country. are laws being applied unevenly to citizens in those communities? and that's the legitimate question that has to be answered. not only as it relates to mr. gray's death but the situation
in general. and what do we do to improve the situation in the communities? need to be talking about these communities, not just around these crisis but every day about these communities not just around these crises but every day in the congress, what type of economic development strategies, what type of criminal justice reforms are needed so that we can break the cycle of poverty and crime and despair and bad relations with the police department? >> committee will come to order. are there further amendments to the readiness subsection of the bill? mr. rogers. >> thank you chairman. this proposal -- >> excuse me. does the gentleman have an amendment to offer? >> i do. >> the clerk will please pass out the amendment.
without objection the amendment is considered as read and the gentleman from alabama is recognized for five minutes to discuss his amendment. >> my amendment would allow the army to transfer excess .45-caliber pistols, the m-19 11-a-1 pistols to the civilian marksmanship program or cmp. officially known as the corporation for the promotion of rifle practice and firearm safety. this would be consistent with the ongoing distribution of excess .22 and .30-caliber rifles to the cmp. the cmp has the capability to inspect, grade, prepare for sale
and then sell these pistols through mail order internet, or retail store sales. because the cmp would reimburse the army for the cost associated with removing the pistols from the depot storage we will not have to expend any appropriated funds. a little bit of background. these pistols were once the standard u.s. armed forces sidearm but they'd been replaced since then by the m-9 and 9-millimeter pistols. and they've just been turned into excess. since the year 2000 we've only had about -- right at 8,000 of these pistols have been turned over to law enforcement or foreign countries which they're statutorily allowed to -- this is how they're allowed to be disposed of. we still have 100,000 of them in storage and it's costing us $200,000 a year to maintain them in storage. this would be a cost-free way of us to dispose of this excess. we can't demille them because the appropriations committee in 2010 prohibited that.
so we can either continue spending $200,000 a year to store them or let cmp have them at no expense. i'd urge consideration of my amendment and yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from rhode island, mr.landsman. >> thank you mr. chairman. i have a number of concerns with the rogers amendment, which i'll briefly highlight. expanding the cmp to firearms in general, as opposed to simply rifles, is contrary to the very nature of the program, which before it separated from the government was overseen by the national board for the promotion of rifle practice. in fact, the non-profit corporation that today runs the cmp is officially known as the corporation for the promotion of rifle practice and firearm safety. well, it's far from clear to me how the sale of pistols to the civilian population promotes rifle marksmanship for our
national defense. i also believe this amendment ignores the very real differences between handguns and rifles in a crime. in 2012 of the 7,106 firearm-related homicides in which the type of weapon was known, fully 6,31 of them or 89.7% involved handguns. in contrast only 322, or 4.5%, involved the use of a rifle. now, the m-1911 a-1s at issue here are easily concealed extremely quite a punch with their .45-caliber ammunition, all qualities that would make them prized among criminals. with that i also know all too well the power of a handgun, particularly a .45 semi-automatic, to materially change one's life as it was the
accidental discharge of a police officer's service weapon that nearly took mine. when congress privatized the cmp, we made clear that it would need to be self-sufficient. if the excellent private training programs offered by entities like the nra have obviated need for a government-subsidized alternative, then i'm happy to yield to that ingenuity of the private sector. and i'm particularly happy to do so if it does not involve injecting 100,000 additional handguns into our streets. i oppose this amendment, and i yield back. chair recognizes the subcommittee chair mr. whitman. >> mr. chairman, i just wanted to highlight that this is a transference not to individuals but it's transference to the corporation for the promotion of rifle practice and firearm safety also known as the civilian marksmanship program.
this is really to promote firearm safety. i think it's a very reasonable and thoughtful way to make sure that those firearms that now are sitting idol can actually be put to a good purpose a purpose i think all of us should agree on and that is firearm safety to make sure people can learn the proper handling and safety of those firearms, including handguns, of which a number of folks in this nation use legally every day. and with that mr. chairman, i yield back. >> is there further discussion on this amendment? if not the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from alabama, mr. rogers. those in favor of the amendment say aye. those opposed say no. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it. the ayes have it. and the amendment is agreed to. gentleman from rhode island requests a recorded vote. a recorded vote will be postponed. are there further amendments to this section of the bill?
gentleman from virginia mr. whitman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i ask unanimous consent to call up an unblocked package of amendments that have been worked and approved with the minority. >> without objection so ordered. the clerk will please distribute the unblocked amendments. without objection the amendments are considered as read and the gentleman from virginia is recognized for five minutes to offer and explain the unblocked package. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i call up unblocked package number 2 comprised of the following. amendment number 008 by miss saugus regarding utilization of amounts authorized for research, evaluation and tests for military construction. amendment number 0044 r-1 which mr. larson concerning efforts to improve asset tracking including
the use of item unique federal acquisition regulation supplement clauses in contracts. amendment number 046 by mr. aguilar regarding a land conveyance direction by section 2851 of public law 107-107. amendment number 049 by mr. o'rourke regarding the assignment of new work at the d.o.d. amendment number 050 r-1 by mr. o'rourke regarding a revisionary clause for a parcel of land in el paso, texas. amendment number 072 by mr. courtney concerning the number of non-federally connected children residing in housing under the military housing privatization initiative. amendment number 121r2 by mr. ashford regarding capability gaps in advanced foreign language proficiency training programs. amendment number 148 r2 by miss duckworth concerning efforts employ and develop new updated
range implementation systems. amendment number 167r-1 by mr. whitman regarding army explosive ordnance explosive capabilities and force structure. amendment 2 r 6 r-1 regarding plans for retirement and storage of the current fleet of vc 25 aircraft. amendment number 240 by mr. thornberry regarding ute lazation of contributions from kuwait for the construction maintenance and repair of mutually beneficial projects. amendment number 249 r-1 by mr. peters regarding on energy efficiency provisions included in the kcx contracts and logistics civil augmentation program contracts. amendment number 324 by mr. knight regarding conservation of the southern sea otter while protecting military readiness and activities in the southern california bight. and amendment by mr. peters regarding installation reed
readiness. >> are there other members who wish to discuss the amendment, the unblocked package? if not the question of the amendments offered by the gentleman from virginia. those in favor say aye. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it and the amendment is adopted. other amendments to this section of the bill. gentleman from texas mr. conaway. >> may i have an amendment at the desk? >> the clerk will please distribute the amendment.